Baseline Potency in Candidates for Bilateral Nerve-Sparing Radical Retropubic Prostatectomy

Andrea Salonia, Giuseppe Zanni, Andrea Gallina, Antonino Saccà, Mattia Sangalli, Richard Naspro, Alberto Briganti, Elena Farina, Marco Roscigno, Luigi F. DaPozzo, Patrizio Rigatti, Francesco Montorsi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To assess the baseline erectile function (EF) of patients with clinically localized prostate cancer (pCa), who are candidates for a bilateral nerve-sparing radical retropubic prostatectomy (BNSRRP) to (a) objectively rate the preoperative self-reported subjective patient's EF and (b) investigate possible correlations between preoperative EF and demographic data and comorbidities. Materials and methods: Two-hundred-thirty-four patients, who verbally self-reported they were preoperatively fully potent and strongly motivated to maintain postoperative EF, underwent a BNSRRP. A comprehensive medical and sexual history was obtained on hospital admission the day prior to surgery. Subjectively reported potency rate was compared with the scores of the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF). Results: The EF domain of the IIEF showed a baseline normal EF in only 43% of the subjects. In contrast, 13% had a mild erectile dysfunction (ED), 8% had a mild to moderate ED, 8% complained of a moderate ED, and as many as 28% reported severe EF impairment. Interestingly, 38% of the patients with severe ED did not attempt any intercourse during the last 4 weeks prior to surgery. Conclusions: A significant proportion of patients with clinically localized pCa and self-reported total potency already had suffered from ED preoperatively. Incorrect timing of questionnaires administration, the potential influence of preoperative patient's psychological distress, and the implication of the patient's partner's psychological and sexual health may be contributing factors to the contradictory finding. The preoperative use of validated questionnaire may help to identify patients who can actually expect to regain potency following a BNSRRP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)360-365
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Urology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2006


  • Baseline
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Prostate cancer
  • Retropubic prostatectomy
  • Sexual partner

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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